Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin (ed.) – Ash

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

jurassiclondon-ashWhen Krakatoa exploded, it shook the world. The volcano rained fire and unleashed floods, but the worst was still to follow. 1883 was a year of darkness and cold, as the global temperature dropped and the skies were wreathed in ash. It was also a year of fiery sunsets and blue moons, where the impossible could – and did – happen…

Ash explores a world where myths come to life and strange creatures wash up in the shallows – a world where survival is only the first of many struggles, and the monsters can take many forms.

The stories of Ash take place in the same shared setting as 1853, A Town Called Pandemonium and the forthcoming The Streets of Pandemonium and The Rite of Spring.

Ash can be read on its own or part of the series.   Read More …

Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – The Lowest Heaven

pandemonium-thelowestheavenThe Lowest Heaven is a new anthology of contemporary science fiction published to coincide with Visions of the Universe, a major exhibition of space imagery at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

Each story in The Lowest Heaven is themed around a body in the Solar System, from the Sun to Halley’s Comet. The stories are illustrated with photographs and artwork selected from the archives of the Royal Observatory, while the book’s cover and overall design are the work of award-winning South African illustrator Joey Hi-Fi.

The Lowest Heaven is the fifth Jurassic London anthology and the first to concentrate on a specific corner of the speculative fiction genre, science fiction. Of course, as it’s been inspired by bodies in the Solar System, this isn’t surprising and the stories included in this anthology show the breadth and depth of SF stories. There are some stories that are hard SF, some alternate history SF, some stories that could almost be considered mainstream, and everything in between. What results is a collection of stories that as a whole work very well, but which has a larger amount of stories that didn’t work for me than previous Jurassic London anthologies did.   Read More …

Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – 1853

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

pandemonium-18531853 features three, short, slightly alternate histories – all set in the same fateful year…

Marc Aplin sends a gunslinger to China and poses him an impossible question, Jonathan Green raises an ancient and hungry evil in Mexico City and Laura Graham writes of an Edinburgh overshadowed by more than factory smoke.

1853 is the companion chapbook to A Town Called Pandemonium and contains a further three stories in the same alternate historic timeline, but instead of focusing on Pandemonium, they focus on the world at large. I found this an entertaining premise as it allowed the reader to explore the alternate reality a bit further and to see that all the uncanniness wasn’t just limited to the Weird West, but was all across the globe.   Read More …

Editor Query: Jared Shurin – Jurassic London

pandamonium-coming soon - bigToday I bring you an interview with Jurassic London’s publisher and editor Jared Shurin. This is not the first time Jared has been interviewed on A Fantastical Librarian; I’ve previously interviewed him as one part of the dynamic duo behind the Pornokitsch blog. But as part of a Week of Pandemonium I wanted to re-interview him as the editor of Jurassic London, not as the purveyor of all things Pornokitsch. Jared was kind enough to agree to be interviewed again and I think it turned out to be quite an interesting (and funny) interview. I hope you’ll agree!     Read More …

Quick ‘n Dirty: Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – Fire

Quick ‘n Dirty is a term used for that first quick search you perform when starting a new research project. It doesn’t have to be exhaustive and all encompassing; it’s just an exploratory search to see what is out there and to collect more search terms before starting a true literature review. I thought it would be a good description for reviews of shorter works, such as short stories or novellas or for less comprehensive reviews of longer works. They may not be as in-depth as I usually try to write my reviews, but hopefully they’ll be a good introduction and indication whether you’d like the stories or books reviewed.

pandemonium-fireFire collects three unique voices and their interpretation of the Dickensian style. Tom Loock’s “A Tale of Cities Two” sheds new light on a classic story, Harry Markov’s “The Tracks That Tower Over Valleys” is a parable of burning needs and Oz Vance sets the Sparkler of Albion spinning in his grave with his “Sketches by Zob”.

To accompany their anthologies, whose contributors are mostly invite-only, Jurassic London releases chapbooks whose contents are selected via open submissions. They are often available for free and are entertaining expansions of the main anthologies. For Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke Shurin and Perry must have thought where there is Smoke there is Fire and this fire contains three interesting stories. Read More …

Jared Shurin & Anne C. Perry (eds) – A Town Called Pandemonium

pandemonium-atowncalledpandemoniumBoomtown-gone-bust Pandemonium sits four days’ ride from the Texas border, just south of Deseret and on the edge of the Anasazi lands. Under the rule of cattle baron Representation Calhoun, Pandemonium is a rough and tumble place – a town with its fair share of secrets…

A Town Called Pandemonium is the fourth anthology edited by Jared Shurin and Anne C. Perry and this one is a little different from the themed anthologies they released before. A Town Called Pandemonium is a shared world anthology, which means that all the stories share the same setting (Pandemonium) and some of the characters. I found that I really enjoy this kind of set-up as it allows the reader both the pleasure of getting to know a specific setting and to discover a diversity of writers, writing styles and sub-genres. A Town Called Pandemonium is filled with speculative fiction stories, but some of them are more firmly set in the fantastic than the others and several of them are nothing less than horror stories (Will Hill, I’m looking at you!).   Read More …

A Week of Pandemonium

pandamonium-coming soon - bigCome one, come all, be welcome to a week of Pandemonium! This week will be a themed week here on the blog. This week the blog will be about all things Jurassic London and Pandemonium series. When I received a review copy for The Lowest Heaven, I noticed I had a few other Pandemonium titles waiting around to be read and reviewed, so I thought why not make a week out of it. And today it begins, today pandemonium breaks loose at A Fantastical Librarian.

What can you expect to see this week? Later today, I’ll be back with a review for last fall’s release A Town Called Pandemonium. Tomorrow I’ll have a Quick ‘n Dirty review of the chapbook Fire. On Wednesday we’re joined by Mr Jurassic himself, Jared Shurin, for an interview. Thursday will see another Quick ‘n dirty review, this time of the chapbook that accompanies A Town Called Pandemonium, 1853. And on Friday, we close out the week with Jurassic’s latest release The Lowest Heaven.

So gather round and be welcome to Pandemonium!